But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. ~Psalm 22:6
Dictionary.com gives the following definition of worms: any of numerous small creeping animals with more or less slender, elongated bodies, and without limbs or with very short ones, including individuals of widely differing kinds, as earthworms, tapeworms, insect larvae, and adult forms of some insects. Worms are considered a very low and insignificant form of life. They make a good contribution in soil by burrowing in it and keeping it fertile for plant growth. The word “worm” is also a condescending term describing a person as being very lowly, despicable and despised. Our Lord Jesus described his suffering at the hands of sinners as making him comparable to a worm.
We see the contempt.
“But I am a worm…” A worm is lowly form of life. To anyone who is non- agricultural and non-scientific, a worm is considered creepy, slimy and reprehensible. They are insignificant beings. There is repugnance that most people have towards the sight of a worm. The destruction of a worm is not considered a loss. If worms became extinct, most people would not think of it as a loss. Christ uses the idea of a worm to describe being despised and a reproach of men. Job said, “How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?” (Job 25:6). The most humble and lowly description of a man is to call him a worm. It conveys the idea of being worthless, wretched and pitiful. Can you imagine that Jesus the Creator described the shame he endured as being like a worm?
We see the comparison.
The word in Hebrew for worm is also the same word for the color scarlet. Scarlet is a deep red color. Consider what Henry Morris said of the worm: “When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding His precious blood that He might ‘bring many sons unto glory’ (Hebrew 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through Him! Psalm 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isaiah 1:18)” (Henry Morris. Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Baker Book House, 1985, p. 73)
We see the contemplation.
As we consider our Lord’s sobering words describing the shame and suffering He endured, we see some vital lessons. The first is a lesson on endurance in the trials of life. “For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). We must look above to Jesus for our strength and courage to endure our human suffering, trials and difficulties. The second is a lesson on humility. We are commanded to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. The idea of being as lowly as a worm suggests to me that whatever humility we think we are doing is not lowly enough. Paul said, “in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.” The third is a lesson on service. Worms quietly work beneath the surface away from the attention of the human eye. However, their accomplishment gives us rich fertile soil for our crops. Our service has its greatest value when many lives benefit from what we have done, but no one but God sees it.
Are you ready to condescend to the level of a worm? Let us soberly consider the idea of a worm and not try to “worm our way out.”
Have a lowly God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 31-32